Saturday, June 3, 2017

Like the Boys in Your Post of June 3rd,
My Son, Robbie, Buttoned Up His 

Underwear and Climbed a Tree!

Ever the Showoff, Robbie Stands on His Head in the Snow.
I guess you could call my son 

a Union Suit Fan and a Socks Stuffer!

Thanks to Robert and Robbie of Beatrice, NE for sending in these photos. Boys will be boys even when wearing their Union Suits! Good hearing from you!
Added July 13, 2017....Chris

"Wear Your Flannel Underwear When You Climb a Tree"

When I first saw this photo of these fellas who had stripped to their Union Suits and climbed up into this tree, I couldn't help but being reminded of an old Frank Sinatra song my mom use to listen to. It was called "Button Up Your Overcoat." 

The music was written by Ray Henderson and the lyrics by B.G. DeSylva and Lew Brown. The song was published in 1928, and was first performed by Ruth Etting. Probably, the most famous rendition of this song was recorded in early 1929 by Helen Kane, a vocalist who had a voice like Betty Boop. According to Wikipedia, from January 9, 1929 to December 21, 1929 Jack Haley and Zelma O'Neal sang "Button Up Your Overcoat" on Broadway in the musical "Follow Thru". They reprised the song in a theatrical release which opened on September 27, 1930. It was also one of the first movies in Technicolor.

What did buttoning up your overcoat have to do with the admonition to wear your long "flannel underwear"? Well, here are the Lyrics:
    Button up your overcoat
    When the wind is free
    Take good care of yourself
    You belong to me
    Eat an apple every day
    Get to bed by three
    Oh, take good care of yourself
    You belong to me

    Be careful crossing streets, ooh, ooh
    Cut out sweets, ooh, ooh
    Lay off meat, ooh, ooh
    You'll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum

    Wear your flannel underwear
    When you climb a tree
    Oh, take good care of yourself
    You belong to me

I remember this song being sung by ole blue eyes himself although to my knowledge he never performed this song in his long "flannel underwear."  Frank did appear in a red Union Suit frequently in the 1970 nearly forgotten movie, "Dirty Dingus Magee."  

So, why did the dudes climb a tree in their long-handled underwear? Just for the heck of it? Comradery? Smokin' dope? Too many beers? Only they know for sure. But if you have ever run around outside in your Union Suit you know how exhilarating it can be. 

Why, it can be down right liberating. Just ask some of the men and boys in my previous posts such as Mike in "Mike's Winter Underwear Hike" (11/4/2016), the boy on the railroad tracks and the dish repair man in "Union Suit Fans and Their Trap Doors" (3/16/2017), various "Cowboys in Their Union Suits" (2/23/2017), the "Manitou Springs Colorado Firemen" (12/5/2016). How about "Ritchie Cunningham, Union Suit Fan" (11/18/2016), and my buddy in the park practicing yoga in just his Union Suit (10/27/2016). The adventure of Jack in "Jack and the Beanstalk" (7/6/2016), and, of course, the two "Boys Outside in Just Their Long Red Underwear" (5/4/2016). 

Many of us guys like to share our Union Suits outside in the world. How about you? Send me your outside Long Johns photos and stories to me at

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